Wednesday, November 18, 2015

what happens when the house doesn't say BEWARE OF DOG?

November 18, 2015

I  waited a couple weeks to tell this story so that my poor mother would know that i'm perfectly fine, as well as hermana hidalgo. 
here it is, directly from my journal. 
     november 1, 2015: well, today is a day that i never ever thought would happen when i thought of my mission. 1) how fast a year goes because we're already in november. 2) we had a very dramatic experience with a giant siberian husky today. today was a great day at church. it was fast and testimony meeting and many shared their testimonies. in gospel principles we talked about temples and in relief society we talked about the prodigal son. alejandra was given a talk to give next sunday!!! :D she's so excited to do her family history and go to the temple. after church, we had lunch and as we do every sunday, TRACTING! we had a lesson planned with woldy but he didn't answer his phone so what did we do? TRACTED SOME MORE.  we had a lesson with a sweet lady named elsa after 2 really UNsweet ladies shut their doors in our faces. i started to tear up a little, just with frustration. that usually doesn't happen but today i felt sensitive for some reason. but we had this lesson with elsa (our new investigator) we taught a lesson on prayer and it helped me "recharge" spiritually. we left and started tracting again and on the way to another lesson, stopped at an old investigator's house to see house she was doing. i've never met her because she's hardly ever there due to her work schedule. but today, SHE WAS THERE! but, this is where it gets crazy. she let us in her front gate and we gave the normal kiss on the cheek. i saw her giant siberian husky trying to get out of the side gate and wouldn't ya know it, he did. he came straight for my legs and started biting me. i thought for a minute he was playing until he starting biting harder. he apparently got bored and went for hermana hidalgo. he jumped on top of her and started to bite her head. it took keñña (our investigator) and her sister to get him off and hermana hidalgo wasn't moving as she laid there on the ground. she was bleeding a lot and the dog had ripped her dress. all she said was "my head hurts" and closed her eyes. they took us immediately to the clinic where our mission president met us. she got stitches in two places on her head and they gave her a prescription for the pain. 
when we were in the car with president so that he could take us home, hermana hidalgo said something incredible. 

she said, "it happened for a reason. keñña is so great." 
9 words. she is such an example. 

why am i telling this story? i want you all to know that the trials we have happen for a reason. when we left that morning we never would have imagined something like this would happen. as in life, the trials we face aren't things that we would think would happen. so why do we have them? why do we have to pass through hard things? in 2 Nephi we learn that without opposition in all things, we could not know true happiness. we could not know true joy and we could not grow. our Heavenly Father wants us to be eternally happy. not just for a short amount of time. i hope that as you go through hard trials, whatever they may be, you can remember that they are for our benefit. we will never be given something that we cannot overcome. 

i hope you all have a wonderful week! enjoy the snow and in the meantime, i'll be using 50 SPF sunscreen and bug spray. 

love, hermana walker

meet dude. the mission dog. he protects us from the other dogs, minus the ones that attack you from inside gates. in this photo, as you can see, i was a little frustrated that he wasn't cooperating. 

our last district photo before elder webb returned to texas. (left to right:) elder webb, elder hermosilla, hermana hidalgo, elder marrero, elder hanni, elder johnson, elder fowles and elder jones

transfer meeting. i had to say goodbye to hermana henrikson yesterday because she has gone to the land of san miguel. i will miss her so much. on the bright side, hermana ibañez (my daughter) also had transfers and now lives with me once more! 

reindeer make better friends than dogs.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

where will you run?

October 29th, 2015

every other transfer, we have a p-day de hermanas. all of the sisters of the mission get together and we do something. usually it's play sports in one of the church buildings and eat food. but today, we decided to go to the temple.
 hermana gaitan is the only one "dying" (finishing her mission) at the end of this transfer so we wanted to do something really special. we were all supposed to be at the temple at 8 am which means we needed to leave by 6, take a bus to the train station, take the train and then another bus. and it's about the same distance for all of the sisters. we all waited outside until about 8:30 for hermana gaitan and her companion (hermana sprenz). we decided to go inside because it was getting late and saw them walk in a little later. afterwards, when we were all outside again, hermana gaitan explained to us what had happened that made them late and it was something she said that hit me so deeply. in the mornings, there are obviously a lot of people going to and from work. they missed a couple buses because they were so full and the bus from the train to the temple wasn't coming fast enough so they decided to run. hermana gaitan said as they were running, they ran past some college students that were also running. she said " what a contrast. we were running to the temple and they to class." now this is not to say that running or going to college is a bad thing. obviously it's a great thing and completely necessary for our lives. but what about eternal life? what are we doing to achieve it? where are we running? the temple is where we go to recieve spiritual enlightenment, peace, tranquility, comfort and answers to our prayers. it's where we go to be in the House of the Lord and be closer to Him. i encourage you that you can make it a goal to go to the temple often. to live in a way that you can recieve the promised blessings found within.
highlights from this week:
    -woldy decimis. he's from haiti and has a baptismal date for november 15! he is so prepared to recieve the gospel. he speaks spanish, french, creole (what they speak in haiti) and portugese. he's 22 years old and has recently moved to chile to live with his sister, junie. junie dones't speak hardly any spanish but we've been working with her and she has a book of mormon in french to help compare the words when we read. 
   -alejandra cornejo. i love this woman to death. she is just such a spunky lady! she's 30 and recently coming back to church. we had a family home evening with her and her family (her mom and her brother-both baptized but inactive) and each read a scripture story or just one. her mom hasn't been to church in many years simply for the reason that she doesn't get along with the members. alejandra told her in the lesson, "mom, that's pride. the Lord made a commandment to keep the Sabbath Day Holy, not for the people, but for Him" my mouth was open the whole time, i'm sure. and you know what her mom said? "tomorrow, i will go to church." and you know what, SHE DID. there she was, hermana brenda, in church at 10 am Sunday morning. can you see the miracles? 
   i hope you are seeing the miracles in your daily lives. thank you for your support. the letters, the emails. all of them help so much. have a great week! 

love, hermana walker

hermana cabrera and i after divisiones yesterday in our zone conference

hermana hidalgo and i

those who have been companions with hermana gaitan. (hermana lesh, me, hermana ross, hermana sprenz)

all of the sisters from la misión chile santiago sur.

 las viajitas (the oldies) hermana williamson, hermana ross, hermana goodwin, me, hermana moreno and hermana nicoll

a picture

October 29th, 2015

​the district: elder marrero (puerto rico), elder jones (boise, idaho..woo!), elder hanni (utah), elder webb (texas), hermana hidalgo, and i 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

a change of beds and a change of heart

October 7, 2015

another transfer has ended and i am no longer in chena. i changed beds and am now in san bernardo. let me explain. we live with the sisters who are serving in chena. have two sets of bunkbeds and i have moved from the bed in the right corner to the bed in the left. haha i am now with hermana hidalgo from peru! i miss hermana henrikson dearly but it's not so bad due to the fact that we still live in the same house and i didn't have to go through the drama of packing my suitcases. i have been called as a sister training leader which means i'll most likely be staying here in san bernardo for a while. i will also be going on lots of divisions and getting to know the sisters (nicoll and silva, allison and silva, cabrera and williamson, balladares and henrikson and ross and arias) all of these sweet young women are incredible missionaries and extraordinary examples. i know they will change my heart and teach me more than i could ever imagine. what gems they truly are. 

i'm going to tell you today about 2 very special people. xaviera and cristina. xaviera is 14 and her dad isn't a member along with being (as most dads) very protective. she is an amazing young woman with such strong desires to serve a mission and follow the Savior. she told us a story of the other day when her parents got in an argument. she said she strated to cry and got down on her knees, asking Heavenly Father to help her parents forgive one another and that she could know what to do. that night, they had gotten home late from singing for las fiestas patrias and her mom said that she was ready to move out of the house. xaviera went to bed at 4 am and set her alarm to get ready for church the next day. when it went off, she said she prayed and decided to go to church, stayed for all the meetings and ran home to see how everything was at home. to her relief, her parents had resolved everything. she said it was then that she received a real testimony that the Lord answers prayers. she and her mom were inactive earlier this year. these changes are made possible only through the Spirit working in their lives and their change of heart to follow the commandments that our Father in Heaven has given us. the second, cristina. i think i've talked about her once or twice before. she is a woman burdened with many health problems and a very humble life but is one of THE HAPPIEST people i have ever known. we went to her house on monday night and talked about general conference because she wasn't able to go due to more health issues. we talked about the many talks that expressed our divine nature as children of God. she said something that hit me hard. she said "me siento importante cuando me habla así" (i feel important when you say that) isn't that how we all should feel? important to the Lord in every moment? yes it is. we are important to Him. He wants to hear from us. He wants us to feel important and that we are His.

one phrase that i loved from conference was "the light always penetrates the darkness" how true this is. and what is that light? Christ. our Savior and Redeemer. please remember your importance to the Lord and our Heavenly Father and live with the faith of cristina and xaviera. live with the faith to follow what He asks of us. 

i hope you all have a wonderful week. 

love, hermana walker 

my new comp, hermana hidalgo! 

goodbye selfies with hermana henrikson

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

the sick bug is buzzin' around

September 30, 2015

so about half the mission has bronchitis. including my companion who also got pink eye. our room is a petri dish but thankfully i haven't gotten it and she's just about over it, so i think i'm doing good. my comp just can't get a break, poor thing, because even though she just got over her bronchitis, she got bit by a dog yesterday so we're workin on that now. she's a trooper :) your prayers would be appreciated for Hermana Henrikson. 

now on to the week. we have been visiting a less active young woman named rocio who got baptized last december. her mom is inactive and so is her brother but they are very nice and always invite us in. her sister in law, katy, lives there now with rocio's brother. i think i talked about them last week. we went to visit rocio again last wednesday and when we got there it was her and katy. we started centered on the family and talked mainly to katy. we now have a new investigator! :) she said that a while back, the missionaries had gone to her house to help her with english and talked a little about Joseph Smith and the Plan of Salvation but she didn't remember much. so we left her with a pamphlet of the Restoration and explained a little about what she would be reading. she is so receptive and i know rocio and her brother, gonzalo (katy's boyfriend) will be a great support for her and that all together they will be able to support each other as a family. :) 

ok, i don't know why the time that we have to write always go by so fast. sorry that there isn't much this week but i hope you all have a great conference weekend and take the time to listen to our prophet's voice. what they will say is prepared with you in mind and exactly what the Lord would have you hear. please take time to watch all the sessions and invite someone to watch with you. 

love, hermana walker 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

we got earthquakes, spring, some bugs in our broccoli and miracles

September 23, 2015

well i'm sure you've all heard-there was an earthquake. i will tell the story as written in my journal: my first earthquake hit today. the first big one at least. here in Santiago it was about 7.9 on the Richter Scale and 8.4 in the epicenter. we were walking to visit Rocio Arce after p-day where we just happened to be in the Costanera Center (the tallest building in South America) when this older man walked out of his house with big eyes and said "esta temblando chiquillas" i didn't have time to ask "¿que?" because i felt the shaking and the road looked like a wave. it was crazy! it went on for about 30 seconds and we kept walking but in the middle of the street away from buildings like Hermana Cook (our mission president's wife said ;) haha i was pretty proud i remembered. we got to Rocio's house and every few minutes felt the aftershocks. one of the glasses fell out of the shelf but that was really the only thing. the important thing is that we're all safe and prepared for if another one hits. thank you for all of your emails and concern in relation to it. the people on the coast are the ones who are suffering because it hit much harder there. please keep them in your prayers and remember that the Lord knows all and has a plan. we have no need to fear. 

IT'S SPRING AND I'M HAPPY. it's finally spring which meeeeans SUN. there has been sun lately but it just makes me happy to know we're into the "always" sunny days. autumn is always a great season too so i hope you're all enjoying the falling leaves and crisp air. 

bugs in our broccoli. that was a great story. and again, i will write from my journal. what a better way to start spring than with some fresh vegetables from the farmer's market, right? wrong. we were at lunch and the hermana said, "these are fresh from the farmer's market, enjoy!" after finding various hairs in my soup, i picked up some broccoli off the plate ready to eat it. i saw something black just as it was close and looked a little closer to see, not one, not two but like 10 bugs on my broccoli. apparently it was EXTRA fresh. i told Hermana Henrikson to look at hers and started picking them off with her fork. this isn't the best part. we told the hermana because we just thought it would be best to say something so she as well didn't have to eat them and she said, looking close, "well, they're dead aren't they? i washed it real good but i guess they stayed." mmm. protein.  it was a memorable moment and so funny! 

miracles. thursday we had to go pick up lunch from the Bishop's house. it was about 9 at night and then we headed over to Elizabeth's house (an investigator) by the time we got across our area it was about 9:30. she wasn't there so we decided to contact Colón (the main street) all the houses are either really rich or businesses and by this time there weren't many people opening there doors. we rand the doorbell of the biggest house on this road and i thought, "surely no one is going to come out, and if they do, they're not gonna want to talk to us" oh, ye of little faith, Hermana Walker. out came one of the best contacts i've had in the mission. Mauricio is his name. turns out his dad lived in a street called Bogota-IN BRISAS. (my area before this) i said, "i know that street!" when he started talking he said, "i know who you are; i've always thought of the missionaries as angels because i saw them one day talking to my dad in the plaza. he was sick and i was leaving in my car really fast for work and i saw two of you talking to him and i felt peace come to my soul. this was 10 years ago and my dad got baptized. i didn't go to his baptism and now i regret it. he died that same year.." i think my mouth was open the whole time he was talking. the timing of the Lord is incredible. what would have happened if the two sisters 10 years ago hadn't talked to his dad? what if he hadn't have been leaving for work and didn't see them? what would have happened if we had said "yeah we're tired and we only have 15 minutes left, lets go home"? the Lord blesses our lives when we don't even know we need it. of course we all want blessings at certain times, but the Lord knows when we NEED them. i want to testify to you that i know this is true. talk to those around you. share the Gospel with them. share your knowledge and testimony of Christ with them. you do not know when they will need it or when you will need it. :) have a great and safe week everyone! 

love, hermana walker

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

las fiestas patrias

September 16, 2015

it's been a party here in chena these last couple weeks.
 this friday is their independence day so we're up to our necks in empanadas, mote con huesillo (barley with dried peaches in juice), anticucho (shishkabobs) and a chilean flag everywhere ya look. the hoods of cars, side mirrors, every window of every apartment, everywhere. 
this means that it's been a little difficult for us, the missionaries. but we're pressing forward just the same. :) 
more to come next week. enjoy the pictures! thank you for all of your support. i know that our Savior even the hardest times is by our side. take time to pray to Him and ask for His guidance. love, hermana walker  

​empanadas! they have meat, olives, and raisins. an interesting combo but i love 'em!

martina and i at the ward party -this is the traditional dress of chile's national dance-The Queca 

​aaaaaand..i've hit the 9 month mark! glad a little bit of pinterest is still in my brain so i can take such cute and memorable photos​ ;) 

​lunch with the bradfords-the married couple in the office. and hermana hidalgo (peru) and hermana hernandez (argentina) we live with them

​my compy-Hermana Henrikson. i just love her! 

Images by Freepik